Famous Singers that Paint

Lauren Cochrane is thinking about singers and their art. Asking if we would take any notice if they wern’t already famous..

Lauren mentions the works of Pete Doherty that he made with his own blood and Paul McCartney’s expressive figurative paintings.

bob dylan paintings“Whether or not these notables would ever grace the walls of such esteemed institutions if it weren’t for their day jobs is questionable.” From the Post here..

Coxsoft Art also recently mentioned an exhibition by Bob Dylan in Germany. (the image used in this post is a painting by Bob Dylan)

I don’t think you can generalize too much with the issue. The paintings of some singers should be taken more seriously than others. I think the problem is that the singer probably uses painting as a relaxing sunday pursuit, and because they’re famous, their manager suggests selling them.

It’s surprising how many visual artists use music as an alternative form of expression and vise versa. I guess we all draw from the same well.

Here’s some other famous rockers and rollers that pick up the brush on Sundays..

  • Marilyn Manson – Goth rocker and general weird guy.
  • John Mellencamp – Little ditty about Jack and Diane.
  • Joni Mitchell – Famous singer and painter.
  • John Lennon – Beatles singer that liked to draw.
  • David Bowie – Singer that takes his (visual) art seriously. David Bowie also played Andy Warhol in the Basquiat movie (it’s still my favorite movie about an artist).

I know there’s a lot more, but it’s late and I can’t think of anymore famous singers that paint.

Update: I added pictures and a few more famous singers who paint here.

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. Have you seen Mark Mothersbaugh’s (of Devo fame) art site? http://www.mutatovisual.com . His “Beautiful Mutants” exhibition came through my home town last year. The rather large crowd was more interested in a star-sighting than the art (he didn’t show.)

  2. I just saw a book about Tony Bennett’s paintings. I only had time for a quick glance, but I found that he had a website for his art at

  3. Paul Stanley of KISS seems to be having some success with his paintings at the Wentworth Galleries.

  4. Bob Dylan

    From Art Forum:
    “Not all crossovers are from art to other fields. Bob Dylan is taking the road from music to visual art with an exhibition of paintings at Germany’s Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz. As the Frankfurter Rundschau reports, Dylan could not have chosen a more suitable venue for his debut exhibition.

    “Museum head Ingrid Mössinger discovered Dylan’s other talents while looking through a 1994 sketch series, titled “Drawn Blank,” of images created between 1989 and 1992 during concert tours through the USA, Mexico, Europe, and Asia. Mössinger received a response just two days after contacting the musician’s agent about the possibility of an exhibition, with go-ahead given on the condition that Dylan be allowed to transform his sketches into paintings for the show. The resultant 140 works—including watercolors and gouaches—will remain on view until February 2008.”
    Related link on Two Coats of Paint: Tangled up in blue

  5. John Lennon had some true, stoner drawings. LOL.

  6. is is just me, I am not finding Bowie’s site user friendly at all.

    Like manson’s though, goes straight to the pics and I like his work. Like Mellencamps too.

  7. It is a little awkward to get around David Bowie’s site, but it works. I looked through a bunch of his stuff.

    I remember ages ago, I was inspired by some of John Mellencamp’s paintings, from a CD insert, where he had a bunch of his works. I forget the name of the CD, but he wasnt quite as Basquiat-esque as he is now.

  8. Anonymous says:

    You forgot Rolf Harris… lol

  9. And Grace Slick recently had a show in Chicago.
    Related link on Two Coats of PaintMusicians who paint

  10. Hmm.. Rolf Harris..

    Im not sure you could really call him anything.. other than, perhaps an entertainer?

    I dont think its a bad thing to jump from one art to another, but there is such a thing as spreading yourself too thin. You can’t major in everything.

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